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Why is My Outlet Sparking?

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It can be a scary sensation: plugging an appliance into a wall outlet and noticing a spark when you do so. Electricity is nothing to play with, and in New England towns like Hartford – with plenty of older wooden houses and pre-21st century electrical systems – a sparking outlet may be significant cause for concern. The cause of such sparking varies from case to case, but may include the following:

  • Loose components: If elements of the outlet are loose, then it might result in a spark. For example, the terminal screw may not be sufficiently tight and when you plug something into the outlet, it may shift the wire slightly, creating a spark.
  • Contact blades: Contact blades are the thin lengths of metal that the prongs from your plug come into contact with when they’re placed in the outlet. Like any other component, the blade can become worn or loose, resulting in a spark when they’re used.
  • Bad connections: In more serious cases, there might be a bad connection in the wiring itself, or there may be frayed, damaged wires between the outlet and the terminal box. Such wires should be replaced as quickly as possible before they cause any further damage.

Regardless of the causes, you should take a sparking outlet seriously. Start by going into your breaker box and shutting off power to the outlet. Then summon a qualified service technician to examine the outlet and conduct any repairs. In many cases, such repairs are comparatively minor – requiring the rapid replacement of malfunctioning components, or replacing the entire outlet in the worst case scenarios. But only a trained electrician with experience can safely identify the issue and implement a correct solution.

The experts at Electrical Connection Inc. have been operating in Hartford, CT since 1985 and understand the needs of local homeowners. We provide free estimates and handle small issue as well as large ones with the same dedication to quality work. If your outlet is sparking, don’t wait for the problem to grow worse. Call us if you need electrical repair in Hartford, and let us put your electrical concerns to rest.


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